What transpired on the Israel-Gaza border?
On the final day of the Jewish high holidays, armed Palestinians broke down the high-tech barriers enclosing the Gaza Strip to enter Israel, shooting and kidnapping hostages, shocked Israelis awoke to the scream of sirens. Hamas and Islamic Jihad were firing hundreds of missiles from Gaza. Also attempting to infiltrate Israel by water were Palestinians on boats.
Both Israel’s catastrophic intelligence failure and the astonishing and unparalleled attack by Hamas and Islamic Jihad will have far-reaching effects. Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, said that Israel was at war and that the Palestinians would pay a high price. Palestinian infiltrators captured civilians in Jewish villages close to the Gaza border. Online footages showed scared Israelis being seized by Palestinian gunmen while covered in blood and handcuffed behind their backs. As the devastation took place all around them, many individuals hurried to secure chambers in their homes.
How did Israel respond?
Israel sent out reserve forces and launched a round of bombs against the tiny strip, which is home to 2.3 million people. After Netanyahu ordered Palestinians in Gaza to “get out of there now” and threatened to transform Hamas strongholds into “rubble,” there is nowhere for residents of the blockaded enclave to go to. In the heart of Gaza City, many structures were attacked by aircraft, including Palestine Tower, an 11-story structure that housed Hamas radio stations.
Israel has hinted that it would launch a land assault, although doing so is risky for both IDF forces and Israeli prisoners who are being held in the area.
Israel has shut off Gaza’s access to electricity and fuel, which might soon have an impact on the medical facilities there, which are already under a lot of strain from those who have been hurt in the bombardment.
A mosque was demolished in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip, while numerous sizable structures were in ruins in Gaza City, according to video shot there. Text messages were sent from the Israeli military ordering residents in the northern Beit Hanoun neighborhood of the Gaza Strip to evacuate their houses before to bombings were circulated by Palestinians in Gaza.
Israeli aerial bombings on Gaza have resulted in 700+ Palestinian deaths, including 20 children, and close to 2,000 injuries, according to the Palestinian health ministry. Additionally, seven persons, including a toddler, were killed by Israeli army fire in the West. Furthermore, Israel has initiated a full on seige of the Gaza area, cutting of supply of water, electricity and supplies. This goes to shoe Israel’s disproportionate response.
The lengthier background is a 16-year siege of Gaza by Israel and Egypt, which has nearly devastated the internal economy of the strip and made life difficult for the residents.
Right-wing Israeli coalition members who are extreme religious nationalists have regularly demanded the annexation of Palestinian territories. Israeli intelligence had been unaware of Hamas’s activities, which had been prepared for many months. As Israel keeps a close eye on Gaza. Modern surveillance tools, including as drones hovering above the strip, keep an eye on activities, communications, and daily life. Additionally, it uses informants, many of whom are forced to support Israel through extortion or other forms of coercion.
The intelligence failure is monumental, and this has shook the Israeli public’s faith in their government and army’s ability to protect.
What benefits does Hamas anticipate?
It is difficult to understand how the events this weekend can benefit Hamas or Gaza, despite the fact that the group that has dominated the Gaza Strip since 2007 has proven to the world that it is a force to be reckoned with.
In order to quell the Hamas activities, in Gaza but and in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Israel is likely to employ the full might of its military strength. Homes and infrastructure are likely to be damaged, and a sizable number of Palestinian people are expected to be murdered. In 2011, after being imprisoned in Gaza for five years by Hamas, Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was ultimately freed in exchange for more than a thousand Palestinian inmates, who are now part of this offensive resistance against Israel.
Hamas says it has taken 100+ hostages, including officers and the hostage-taking will make Israel’s reaction more challenging and offers Hamas a powerful negotiating tool.
What has the world’s response to the Hamas attack been?
There has been widespread opposition to Hamas and backing for Israel’s right to self-defense. The US “stands with the people of Israel in the face of these assaults,” Joe Biden told Benjamin Netanyahu. The support of my administration for Israel’s security is unshakable and rock solid.
To try to find a means to diffuse the problem, the Egyptian administration said it was in negotiations with Saudi Arabia and Jordan. In the past, Egypt has played a significant role in mediating cease-fires.
There have also been rumors that Iran may have backed the attack to thwart Saudi Arabia’s efforts to normalize relations with Israel. If Iran is engaged, it will be hoping that any agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia would fail due to the bloodshed.
Lebanon’s Hezbollah has joined the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. Hezbollah fired dozens of rockets and shells at three Israeli positions in a disputed area along the country’s border with Syria’s Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, Sheba mountains at Israeli military installations, exchangeing artillery fire.
The UN security council convened in an extraordinary session to assess the situation. In the meanwhile, UN peacekeeping troops have been stationed near the Israel-Lebanon border in order to “maintain stability and help avoid escalation”.
Asma Khan Durrani is an Islamabad-based expert in Strategic Affairs. She is a student of Defence and Strategic Studies. She has done M.Phil. from SPIR Quaid-I-Azam University Islamabad. She has also been published internationally. She tweets @AsmaKhan_47 Mailed @ email@example.com